8 week baby and postpartum update

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I can’t believe that Khumo [aka Little Lady] is 8 weeks old already!!

Since this is my first update, it’s quite long, so it might be a good idea to grab some coffee.

I’m still amazed at how each baby and experience can be so different. Although the first few weeks had a bumpy start, with the recovery needed after a c-section, coupled with my engorged boobies and urinary tract infection, the time has really flown by and it’s (mostly) been a joy ride. I had postnatal depression a few weeks after I had my son, so I’ve been conscious of my feelings and emotions. I attribute my level-headedness to

1) Being ready for this baby

2) Having my family’s support

3) Coming into this knowing what to expect as a second-time mom.

Even though each child is unique and different, knowing what to expect with the second baby, definitely had a positive impact on me, although I still google frantically at 2am.

 

Emotional roller-coaster:

I was in so much pain when I got the infection. I had strong pain killers and suppositories but at some points it was just unbearable. I remember not even being able to move to pick up my baby when she was crying one night. I just broke down crying. There were two other teary episodes after that – one after receiving devastating news of someone losing a child and the other I can’t remember. There have been other moments of defeat, like when I’ve done everything to try and soothe her to sleep but she doesn’t, then she gets even more restless and it becomes a vicious cycle of frustration for both of us; fortunately I’m never alone at home so I can hand over when it gets too much.

 

The joys:

I love everything about her. She is a calm and sweet baby who never cries, unless you delay her feeding,she takes her meal times very seriously. She has started to smile and also recognize us – my heart just bursts with happiness when she does that. She also turns her head when she hears a familiar voice. She has started babbling and “communicating” with us and I can identify her sleepy cues. I love watching her older brother interact and play with her. He’s so proud of her, he always says she’s beautiful and he speaks about her to everyone. We all love her so much and she has brought our family closer.

Breastfeeding:

I’ve had some challenges in this area, you might have read my little vent Breastfeeding Is Not Easy For Everyone. But 8 weeks into the journey, I’m seeing improvement in my milk supply and I remain committed to the breastfeeding journey. I’ve taken both Prolak and Fenugreek to help stimulate lactation, both available at Dischem.

 

 

I’m drinking lots of water and tea has also helped me. On the days when I see that I have more milk, I express and freeze the milk, making sure that I mark the date and amount of milk clearly on the bag. I received these from NUK:

I am mix-feeding at the moment, supplementing my breast milk with formula when needed. The mixing has given her LOTS of gas, but it’s improving week-on-week. We both love the intimacy that breastfeeding gives us and I will continue for as long as I can. The Little Lady has started becoming very clever and usually declines a bottle of formula if it comes from me, unless she’s really desperate.

 

Support System:

I’m very blessed to have a great support structure. Over and above Daddy, I have my mom, sister, and fulltime live-in nanny. My mom lives quite close, so she spends about two nights a week with us and this is when I get to recharge and catch up on sleep. Other family members and friends have also been helpful. I’ve involved our nanny in everything from very early on, because I want them to be as comfortable as possible with each other. They have bonded well, so I have been able to leave them alone together to do the school run and other errands.

 

Venturing outdoors:

We observed the tradition of not having visitors for 10 days. After that, extended family and very close friends were allowed to visit. Since 6 weeks, we’ve had about four outdoor trips to visit family and friends. She’s getting used to her car seat, she starts off by fussing but manages to fall asleep after a few minutes.

 

Tummy cramps:

These caught me off-gaurd. We had many nights (almost 3 weeks) with my baby cramping so badly. I’ve read that it’s normal, because babies have immature digestive systems but seeing her in that much discomfort broke me. Our GP advised that I change her formula to a Hyper Allergenic one. During this time, I also tried to breastfeed as much as possible because breastmilk is easily digestible. The cramps eventually subsided after 6 weeks.

 

Sleep and bedtime routine:

She literally slept right through her first two weeks of life. She hardly bothered to open her eyes, even during feeding. From the third week, she started opening her eyes for longer and being aware of the sounds around her. In the beginning, I took naps with her but now I struggle to sleep during the day; somehow the few hours of shut-eye at night are sufficient to keep me going.

When she hit the 6-week mark, her night time snoozes stretched from 2 hours at a time to 5 hours. I’m a very light sleeper and she sleeps in her cot next to our bed so I find myself waking up whenever she makes any kind of sound. She sleeps on her back and recently, I’ve found that if I turn her head the other way, she gets comfortable again and resettles herself immediately.  I’ve also learnt not to immediately get up and pick her up at every sound she makes; she’s usually just dreaming and falls back asleep very quickly.

I used to wrap her, but now she wriggles a lot and doesn’t really like it, but I still try on some nights and it definitely makes a difference. I think I need to invest in a sleeping bag, it will also help to keep her warm during winter because she likes to have her arms out of her blankie.

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I’ve tried to keep the same routine for most nights.I start somewhere between 18:30 and 19:30 (depending on when she wakes up from her previous nap and how quickly her older brother has finished his homework/dinner)

  • 10 minutes of playing / massage
  • 5 minute bath – she LOVES it but has hates having water on her face.
  • 5 minutes of dressing up and singing

I then switch off the lights, feed and rock her until she falls asleep. It doesn’t always work, there have been nights when the bath made her more active and it took more than an hour and a half for her to fall asleep.

 

Shedding the baby weight:

The good times are over and it’s time for me to start exercising and eating better. I’m really undisciplined in this department so I’m not looking forward to it at all. Only 30% of my clothes fit me, so I’ve been wearing the same clothes which is getting boring.

 

Future plans:

I’m planning to start studying again in June, which is going to be a challenge, considering that I’ve got my hands full with running a household, two kids, blogging and work full time from July. It’s going to be interesting – I’ll be sure to keep you posted.

 

Modern Zulu Mom

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10 Comments

  1. I absolutely love reading your blogs lately Thando! They’re so insightful and encouraging.
    I was very hesitant at the idea of even thinking about baby #2 but I can safely say that I’m definitely planning on trying again soon.
    I failed dismally at breastfeeding my daughter (now 13 months old) and that really stressed me out! But now I know how to tackle it the 2nd time around and I’m really looking forward to it.
    Being a 1st time mom isn’t easy at all but we all learn along the way.
    Your encouragement is really appreciated!!!

    1. Aah, thanks Tumelo. I’m glad I’m part of inspiring number 2 ☺️ it’s wonderful. At some points in the pregnancy I wondered how I could possibly have capacity to love more than one child, but it comes and the second time around you have a much better idea of what to do, although the learning curve remains steep ❤️

  2. Such s sweet child!! Glad things are easier the second time around. I think knowing what to expect reaLly does help and having support and using it helps s great deal too

    What would you be studying? Full time or part time? You are definitely one super mommy

    1. Thank you Darling, she really is wonderful!! I’ll be doing labour law, been a while since I’ve studied so I’m quite nervous.

  3. I love reading your blogs about your baby cause i feel like there is somebody who is going through what i am going through. My son is 4 months now and hes teething which is a challenge, but we are getting through it. I also have an older son, Lesedi who also loves his little brother and i involve him a lot in taking car of the bay whos name is Baatile.

    Your an inspiration with all the things you do. Goodluck with your studies Thando, i know youll make it 🙂

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